COMPLEXITY in meal preparation notonly leads to extravagance and toovereating with its attending ills, butserious bodily chemical warfare mustinevitably follow a too great variety of
foods consumed at the same meal. Two or threefoods well selected for their balanced nutrient prop-erties and rationally combined would invariably beperfectly sufficient. A breakfast or brunch consistingof one or two kinds of fruit is quite satisfying duringspring and summer weather. As the protein (tissue-building) constituent and the fat content of fruits arelow, they may be supplemented by tarts or unroastednut butters, cottage cheese, avocado, olives, or rawmilkjust one of these.
Foods of high starchy content are best not com-bined with high protein foods. It is strongly recom-mended that only one protein or one starchy foodaccompany a meal and that the balance comprisesuch salads and steamed vegetables as are availablein season. For example, a salad dish followed bysome steamed green leafy or other nonstarchy veg-etables will combine harmoniously with baked pota-
toes, or in place of the latter, a few slices of wholewheat bread or any other hygienic carbohydrate(starch), like whole wheat spaghetti or corn on thecobjust one of these.
Where raw and cooked vegetables appear at thesame meal, it is desirable to eat the raw salad first tooffset any tendency to consume too little of the rawfood and too much of the cooked foods. Never mixfood in the raw state with the same or similar food inthe cooked state, as for example grated raw carrotsfollowed by steamed carrots and peas; there is dan-ger of gas.
Eat without drinking. This will insure thoroughmastication and insalivation. Do not take very hot orvery cold foods or drinks at the same meal. Ice waterand hot soups have ruined many stomachs. If a liquidsuch as water or a table beverage is craved, it shouldbe taken at least half an hour after the meal.
Cooking must be done judiciously. Vegetables are,as a rule, so irrationally prepared that they are of lit-tle food value. The average houseperson boils veg-etables in too much water and then drains them, notrealizing that the larger part of the proteins, vitamins,and organic salts are dissolved in the water. The lossof soluble nutrients is about five to ten percent pro-tein, thirty to fifty per cent carbohydrates, and aboutfifty per cent of organic salts. Thus the cellulose(fibre or roughage) is retained and little else that isof genuine merit for healthy nutrition. Then in orderto replenish the loss of essential constituents, condi-ments and spices are added to contribute palatabilityto vegetables which have been rendered tasteless andvalueless.
Vegetables should consequently be steamed,baked, or stewed for about fifteen to twenty minutesin their own juices by means of airtight waterlessnonaluminum cookers. Of all methods of cooking,
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Vegetarian Domestic Science
NUTRITION AND HEALTH
The Rosicrucian Teachings advocate a simple, pure, andharmless life. We hold that a plain vegetarian diet is mostconducive to health and purity; also that alcoholic drinks,tobacco, and stimulants are injurious to health and spiri-tuality. As Christians we believe it to be our duty to avoidsacrificing the lives of animals and birds for food, also, asfar as possible, to refrain from using their skins and feath-ers for clothing. We hold vivisection to be diabolical andinhuman.
We believe in the healing power of prayer and concen-tration, but we also believe in the use of material meansto supplement the higher forces.
steaming is preferable. The addition of water as usedin ordinary cooking toughens the fibers of the veg-etables and washes out nearly all of the life-sustain-ing ingredients. By steaming in little or no water fora short timejust long enough to soften the cellu-losethe organic salts, vitamins, and the deliciousnatural flavors are nearly all retained in the food.There must be no parboiling, followed by the drain-ing off of the best portion and the subsequent con-sumption of the residueabsurd practices whichregrettably are still the vogue in our homes today.
Heat, especially if prolonged, not only destroysmuch of the natural essence, but considerably dimin-ishes the nutritive value of vegetables. For the longervegetables are subjected to heat, the more their sub-tle organic combinations are disorganized.Vegetables are thus softened to a degree that encour-ages hasty swallowing and overeating. With thor-ough mastication, a much smaller amount is neededthan when food is bolted or washed down with somebeverage.
Wholesome soup stocks can be made from leafyvegetables, especially the outer leaves of cabbage,lettuce, and kale, the tops of celery, green onions,beets, and other roots, spinach, chard, and toughparts of asparagus and cauliflower which are usuallythrown away. The vegetables are best chopped intosmall pieces by means of a food chopper and thensteamed with the addition of a little water in a steamcooker for about twenty minutes or longer to softenthe cellulose. Then the vegetables should be pressedthrough a potato ricer to extract the juice and toremove the tougher parts of the cellulose. To enrichthis vegetable soup with protein, add about one pintof evaporated milk or its equivalent in soy bean milkor thick nut milk (two ounces of unroasted nut butterto fourteen ounces of water). This is a sustaining eas-ily digestible dish for growing children, adults, con-valescents, and the aged.
Legumes, if properly prepared and used judicious-ly in the right combination and quantity, afford apleasant change in the vegetarian dietary. They com-prise the different varieties of beans, peas, andlentils. All legumes in their dry state require pro-longed, slow cooking to render them thoroughlydigestible and to bring out their rich flavors.Legumes should be steeped overnight in distilled orsoft water; additional water may be added beforecooking in order to cover them well. Steam cookers
or double boilers are very suitable for preparinglegumes; two or three hours will generally be neces-sary before the legumes are done. A fireless cookermay be used to advantage for this purpose. Legumesmay be ground to increase their digestibility and toreduce the time of cooking. The addition of a littlelemon juice, some vegetables, and savory herbs willalso promote their digestion. No starchy food shouldaccompany this meal. Outdoor workers can digestlegumes better than can sedentary workers; the lattergroup should eat them not more often than once ortwice a week. Children will enjoy them if served inthe form of puree, which can be readily accom-plished by pressing the boiled legumes through asieve.
Cereals should preferably be eaten dry, in order toinsure perfect insalivation and mastication. Mushesshould never be mixed with sugar and milk, as thismixture will usually cause fermentation. Honey ispreferable as a sweetening agent. Highly acid fruitseaten with cereals will retard the digestion of starch-es. Cereals, even in their whole grain natural state,are deficient in lime, soda, and chlorine, and there-fore they do not supply enough of the elements forbuilding sound and healthy teeth and bones.Wherever cereals (I have reference to the wholegrain varieties) are used as staple foods, they shouldalways be supplemented by a liberal amount ofgreen-leafy vegetables to supply the necessary alka-line elements, especially sodium, calcium, and iron.Whole brown rice, unpeeled and unpolished, is theleast objectionable and the least acid-forming of allwhole grains. Avoid the demineralized and devital-ized breakfast foods, robbed of their rugged strengthby mechanical modern milling processes.
Fruits require the least preparation of all foods.They may be eaten just as they come to us fromNature. The removal of the skins of many fruits isunnecessary so long as they have been thoroughlycleansed and are organic. Unsulphured sun-driedfruits are superior to bread and cereals, because theircarbohydrates for the elaboration of bodily heat andenergy are alkaline reacting. Dried fruits are best,soaked till soft from twelve to twenty-four hours, thewater well covering the fruit. Cooking or stewing isunnecessary. Tart prunes are enhanced in palatabilityif a spoonful of honey or raw sugar, two slices oflemon and a dash of raisins are added to the water inwhich the fruit is soaked. The juice should be taken
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together with the fruit. The juice and fruit may beslightly heated just before serving, but never boiled.
Natural uncooked foods, comprising two or threeraw vegetables, attractively prepared as a wholesomesalad, contain more vitamins and mineral salts thando cooked foods, as well as encourage thorough mas-tication. The dressing should consist of lemon juice,olive oil, or any other high grade vegetable oil, withthe possible addition of grated nuts, unroasted andunsalted nut butter or cottage cheese, if the meal is aprotein one. Wholesome mayonnaise or salad dress-ings may also be applied. The avocado provides atwenty per cent fat content in a very palatable anddigestible form, superior to butter fat. It is an excel-lent addition to combination raw vegetable salads. Sotoo are sun-dried olives, whose fat content is fifty percent, rivaling some nuts in nutritive value: Only inthe fully ripened sun-dried olives are all of the nutri-tive principles of the olive preserved, and althoughthey still retain some of the bitter taste, which is verypronounced in the matured olives on the tree, theyare undoubtedly more wholesome than are pickledolives.
The nutritive and therapeutic value of salads isoften ruined by the addition of unwholesome preser-vatives and condiments. All condiments have an irri-tating effect on the mucous membrane of the stom-ach and retard proper digestion and assimilation.Pure apple vinegar of the highest q